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Art & Culture, Murals

Murals, Graffiti and Aerosol Warfare in Houston, Texas

Posted: April 1, 2016 at 3:15 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Graffiti and Art

Closeup of mural at 420 Travis Street in Houston

Closeup of mural at 420 Travis Street in Houston

The closeup photo of the graffiti type mural at the top of this page was created by a local artist in Houston, Texas and his crew.  They are known as the Aerosol Warfare Crew.

The artist who originated Aerosol Warfare goes by the name of Gonzo247.  His real name is Mario Enrique Figueroa, Jr.

Most often artists who do graffiti go by initials or another moniker.  In most cases graffiti is considered to be vandalism.

Obviously the people doing the graffiti do not wish to be caught and penalized. In some cities and countries around the world strict laws have been passed and punishments can be quite severe.

Gonzo247 is a self taught artist but has become well known both locally as well as internationally for taking the graffiti type of art to new heights of recognition and importance.

History of Graffiti

Using spray paint cans to create a mural. Source: By THOR (Southsea Skatepark Graff (75)) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Using spray paint cans to create a mural. Source: By THOR (Southsea Skatepark Graff (75)) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Would you have guessed that evidence of graffiti goes back almost as long as man has been leaving his personal marks in caves?  They can also be found in sepulchres or ancient ruins such as are found in Greece or Rome.

Other parts of the world have not escaped this form of free expression either.

Whether leaving initials or drawings on rocks when passing through a place or creating something meant to advertise or even serve as an objection to a regime, graffiti has left its mark for numerous centuries in many locations world-wide.

Of course with the advent of paint coming in cans, modern graffiti can be executed more quickly and also more colorfully!

History of Murals

Photo of mural taken in downtown Houston on a weekend when there was not much traffic.

Photo of mural taken in downtown Houston on a weekend when there was not much traffic.

The painting of large scale images whether it is on interior walls or ceilings or on exterior large spaces goes back many millennia.

The types of materials used to create murals also varies widely.

Frescoes are are a combination of wet plaster and colored pigments and is one example of one type of mural. Sometimes portions of them can survive the destruction of an entire building!

When the Pompeii exhibit came to Houston many years ago, there were portions of ancient frescoes that had been salvaged when Mount Vesuvius erupted in the year 79 and destroyed much of Pompeii, Italy.

Sometimes murals are created out of tile and affixed to a wall.  Others are meticulously painted by artists such as Michelangelo who painted the Sistine Chapel in Rome.

Some are spray painted as in the instance of this mural pictured here in Houston.  It is on an exterior brick wall of the Baker – Travis Building.  That is where the restaurant Treebeards is located.  Many indoor as well as outdoor spaces can be embellished and enlivened by murals.

Treebeards

Side view of mural at 420 Travis Street in Houston

Side view of mural at 420 Travis Street in Houston

This Baker – Travis Building is reputed to be one of the oldest buildings in Houston dating back to 1861.

The restaurant Treebeards is located inside and they serve typical southern styled meals. They have for other locations in the downtown Houston area. They have been situated in this historic building since June of 1980.

Aerosol Warfare Crew was commissioned to spray paint this mural. The Houston Arts Alliance as well as the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau sponsored it. The mural was completed in May of 2013.

I must admit that this corner of Travis and Preston streets has certainly been brightened up by this colorful and eye-catching mural!

Gonzo247 and Aerosol Warfare Gallery

This old house in Houston painted by Aerosol Warfare. Source: By Ed Schipul from Houston, TX, US (This Old House) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

This Old House in Houston painted by Aerosol Warfare. Source: By Ed Schipul from Houston, TX, US (This Old House) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The artist Gonzo247 and Merge360 joined up and started working together. Along with other local artists many collaborative works have been commissioned and created.

Houston’s Central Library downtown has an underground parking space which has been brightened up by some 20,000 square feet of vibrant and lively graphics on that particular mural.

Many spaces around Houston been embellished.  Workshops and shows as well as other events are now held in the Aerosol Warfare Gallery since its opening in 2000.

Students can learn the fine art of graffiti. Both stencils and free hand methods are taught.  Some of these students may turn out to be the muralists of the future.

Gonzo247 curates other shows and does additional teaching through non-profit organizations.

The Aerosol Warfare Gallery is located at 2100 Jefferson, Suite 111 & 113, Houston, Texas 77003. The phone number there is 832-748-8369.

Local as well as visiting artists have their work displayed.  They have an online art gallery store where items ranging from small to large artistic pieces as well as things like hip hop type shoes and shirts are also sold.

Mural at 420 Travis Street in Houston by Aerosol Warfare

Mural at 420 Travis Street in Houston by Aerosol Warfare

 

Graffiti Art Murals in Houston

Gonzo247 is just one of numerous artists brightening up our buildings and streets in Houston. If you come to our fair city for a visit and wish to see more, you will certainly not be disappointed.

Numerous other artistic sites in Houston will keep you busy whether you like art in outdoor parks or inside museums. There is something here for everyone!

 

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